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The Great Outdoors
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Great Outdoors More at IMDbPro »

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31 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

As long as Dan and John make me laugh, I love this movie

10/10
Author: Kristine (kristinedrama14@msn.com) from Chicago, Illinois
17 November 2003

The Great Outdoors is one of the most under rated comedies that I have ever seen! It's actually one of my hidden favorites, because this is the type of comedy that I love, slap stick. Dan and John make such a great comedic duo in The Great Outdoors, you can't help but laugh hysterically at every scene or be touched by a sentimental moment. I miss stories like this, that are not only heart warming but have a great mix of comedy as well.

Chet is a family man who wants to bond with his songs on a camping trip, so he, his wife, and their boys go out to the great outdoors. But an uninvited guest tags along, their rich and snobby cousins Roman and Kate and their two Shinning creepy twin girls. Since Roman likes to live it up, he practically jumps all over Chet's plans and just takes over the vacation!

There are some great scenes like a bat gets loose in the cabin and Chet and Roman decide to take it on themselves. The bat gets onto Chet's face and Roman hits the bat and Chet's face with a tennis racket! Chet's reaction is just priceless! And they go to a restaurant where Chet has the opportunity to eat a 16 ounce steak and if he eats the whole thing, the family eats for free, and they do it like as if he was Rocky in his first major boxing match, it was just great to watch. The Great outdoors is one of those great under rated comedies that I'm sure you'll fall in love with.

10/10

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17 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Remember these classics!!

8/10
Author: Robert W. (Robert_duder@hotmail.com) from Ontario, Canada
12 September 2004

The eighties was a decade of film brilliance. Not Academy Awards maybe, or deeply intriguing movies but instead R-Rated, ridiculous, fun, pompous, films that were just not thought provoking but instead FUN!! What was R-Rated back then would be barely a PG today which also reflects the kind of society we have turned into. Enter "The Great OutDoors" with fellow Canadian comedians who knew comedy unlike no one has since.

Dan Akroyd and John Candy are just great. They aren't brilliant actors (although Dan has shown some promise in great movies such as The Arrow and My Girl) but instead they can get together to deliver laughs and they do. The Great Outdoors is the quintessential eighties film about a family on vacation. It's about the desire to succeed and BUY STUFF (an eighties must.) It's about who is the better man, and man vs nature and all that kind of stuff. More importantly it delivers the perfect blend of physical comedy AND one liners that actually made me laugh out loud. Akroyd and Candy play like a stand up comedy act and it works so well that you forget everyone else. They really don't add or take away from the story, you just forget anyone else is there...it doesn't really matter much. You're in this to see Chet and Roman battle it out mostly behind each other's backs. The cinematography is great in this movie as well. They used an actual lake although it was in California, not Wisconsin and it really helps the setting. You feel as though you're roughing it out right beside them. The best part is the climax with the bear, what a great scene. As predictable as you might think it is...it's just awesome. Candy is hilarious and sadly missed in future endeavours. Akroyd pulls off the pompous, greedy and loud mouthed lawyer type to a T and manages to not take himself too seriously. As with all eighties films they manage to toss in the someone is in trouble, everyone has to pull together and save them story ending but it works and this movie is without a doubt a classic, whether comedy or just film in general, it will always be remembered fondly. 8/10

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21 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Classic

10/10
Author: jimzastud from Muskegon, Mi
15 January 2004

This is one of the best commedies ever made. I love the humor, comraderie, hatred, envy. everything. This is one movie that you could watch a thousand time and never get sick of it. John Candy is a true genius and I wish he were still around to make us all laugh. Great movie and if you have a problem with that dont' sing it bring it!

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Great fun and entertainment for the entire family...

7/10
Author: Paul Magne Haakonsen from Denmark
3 August 2012

I remember seeing this movie back in the late 80's, when I was young, and I have fond memories of it being a great and fun movie. And sure enough, having sat down again here in 2012 and watch it again, the movie was every bit as funny and entertaining and I remembered it to be.

But of course, why wouldn't it? You have two of the greatest comedians in American cinema in it; Dan Aykroyd (playing Roman) and John Candy (playing Chet), and they were really a great comedian couple, complementing each other well and having great on-screen chemistry.

The story in "The Great Outdoors" is about the Ripley family coming to a very idyllic and beautiful cabin site, where Chet's father used to take Chet when he was a child, and now Chet want his children to have their own memories of this paradise. But within only moments of getting there, Chet's brother Roman and his family show up unannounced to surprise the Ripley's and spend a week of vacation together.

The movie is filled with great and memorable moments that will have you laughing hard, because Aykroyd and Candy really do some great comedy in this movie and put on great performances. Sure it is very 1980's in spirit, but still today the movie is fun and entertaining to watch. And I personally never will tire of John Candy and his greatly missed comedy act, he was truly one of a kind.

If you enjoy 80's comedies and the movies of Dan Aykroyd and/or John Candy, then I am sure you are already well familiar with "The Great Outdoors", but if you aren't, then get your hands on this movie, because it is well worth a watch.

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11 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Aykroyd and Candy: a great combo

6/10
Author: Lee Eisenberg (lee.eisenberg.pdx@gmail.com) from Portland, Oregon, USA
13 August 2005

"The Great Outdoors" is what anyone would expect of a John Candy movie: completely goofy, but funny nonetheless. He plays Chet Ripley, taking his family on vacation in the wilderness. Unfortunately, Chet's unpleasant brother-in-law Roman Craig (Dan Aykroyd) is also there, and he just has to make everything miserable for Chet. In some ways, this movie seems to be rehashing "Summer Rental", but with a different tone. My favorite parts were the raccoons, the bear, and The Old '96er (I don't recommend that scene for squeamish people). All in all, it just goes to show what the world lost when John Candy died. He was really great.

P.S.: Annette Bening, in her debut, plays Roman's wife Kate.

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15 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

one of John Candy's best

10/10
Author: rabid_halfling from 9th gate of Halifax NS
7 April 2004

I watch this movie, and then i feel terrible that a great comedian is gone.. You can have your kinnison, farley, etc. But Candy, is probaly one of the over looked, and slumped into thecheap renters.. but you know why they used him as the lead in so many.. Because he is/was a kindly looking man, and was from what i have read of him.. And this is probaly the pinnacle of the greatness of Candy. And the whole bear scene steals the whole show. I just wish all the canadian actors/comedians didn't have to go south.. come on Canadian cinema drop the docu-drama and work with our funny bones.. We are wasting our real natural resource here.. Again best Candy flick of all, IMHO.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

What are hot dogs made out of?

Author: Pookyiscute from Nyiregyhaza, Hungary
11 February 2004

A great comedy to settle down with after a long day. Aykroyd and Candy make a great pair in this off-beat comedy about life in the woods, and how one simple vacation turns into a dreaded day-to-day horror.

Basic Plot: John Candy and his family go up to Canada for a family vacation away from the city for several days. Seemingly fine, until they get to their cabin, the whole vacation starts to fall apart from the moment they arrive. Not only is there fish everywhere in their vacation home, but just when mom and dad think they're alone, their brother and sister in-law walk in on them, with their two daughters. From a water-skiing adventure gone wrong- to eating a whole family's worth of food (pun definitely intended.), the movie seems to continually take a turn for the worst. The subplot is Candy's oldest son, who starts to fall in love with a local, to give it that romance along with all the humor that's going on between the adults.

A fun movie to watch from 10- whenever.

I give it a 7.5 out of 10 (10 being the highest). Not one of the best movies ever but certainly funny and it has some great writing too.

A little piece of trivia:

At the end of "She's Having a Baby" right before the credits, you see the wife asking Kevin Bacon what they should name the baby... People from all sorts of films and T.V. shows voice their opinions, including some of the cast members from 'The Great Outdoors'.

And that's the end of this review.

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8 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

One of my 80's favorites

7/10
Author: ivko from USA
10 July 2008

As a child of the eighties, its hard not to view this film thru the lens of nostalgia. John Candy is hilarious as the simple but decent family guy who wishes to take his family on a vacation to the great outdoors. His plans are rudely disrupted by his boorish brother in law, who crashes the family event and manages to disrupt all of Candy's plans. While there's nothing particularly stunning or insightful here, its fun and reminds me of days gone by. Although seen thru the eye of comedians, many of us can remember "disastrous" family vacations like this, with relatives that we sometimes couldn't stand and plans gone awry, but still forming some of our most fond memories. It is also somewhat bittersweet for me, as most of the beautiful and rustic locales in the film have disappeared during the intervening years, a loss I hadn't even noticed or thought about until I watched the film again. The film is very family friendly and, if you haven't seen it, definitely worth a viewing.

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Dad, isn't it illegal to drive with a bear on the hood of your car?

Author: Jessica Cole (brightlilchica@incamail.com)
3 May 2003

I don't understand why people don't understand this movie. John Candy's a laid-back middle-classer. Dan Akyroyd's a suave, rich debonar. Somehow these two manage to click together fine. They should have done more movies together, not to mention this tale has cool catch phrases: "Dad, isn't it illegal to drive with a bear on the hood of your car?"

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Gets by on goodwill from the actors alone

5/10
Author: Leofwine_draca from United Kingdom
28 December 2015

I remember seeing this film and liking it as a kid. It was always the 'bald bear' film to me containing as it does a roguish grizzly who plays a central role in the proceedings. Otherwise the format of the film is very simplistic and features a couple of families who decide to go on a vacation together and end up warring.

The script was written by John Hughes and there's a slight sense that he's on autopilot here, with little meat to the storyline. For the most part THE GREAT OUTDOORS gets by on the goodwill generated from the central pairing of Dan Aykroyd and John Candy. Candy is a warm, lovable presence as ever, and Aykroyd gets some nicely acerbic moments. The supporting cast, which includes Annette Bening, is a bit more of a disappointment.

A lot of the jokes are merely average but they do pass the time quickly enough. Some of the moments, like the steak eating contest, are hilarious, and the climax is very good too. But in other respects THE GREAT OUTDOORS feels a bit like a poor cousin of the popular 'Vacation' film series featuring Chevy Chase.

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